Dr. Stanley Aronson

Dr. Stanley AronsonMorris Gershovitz left St. Petersburg, Russia, in the early 1890s to seek a new life in America. He married Rose Bruskin in 1895, and they were blessed with four children. The first son, Isidore, was born in December 1896. Another son, Jacob, was born in 1898.

Isidore (called Ira by his friends) and Jacob (called George by the family) were vastly different in appearance, talents and aspirations; but nonetheless, they maintained a close friendship during their entire lives. Ira was reflective, shy, bookish; while George was gregarious, adventuresome and immensely self-assured. Ira drifted toward books while George, at age 10, developed a passion for the piano. In 1910, the family purchased an upright piano, and the destinies of both Gershwin boys were then irreversibly determined.

Dr. Stanley AronsonIf human illness were strictly a private matter, never impinging upon the health, freedom or affairs of others, there would be little ambiguity or dispute concerning the need for health regulations; indeed, there would be no need for any public health legislation since each person’s health, just as each person’s bank account or sex life, would then remain a strictly personal matter. But, medically speaking, no man is an island entire unto himself. And, to paraphrase Donne still further, any man’s illness diminishes us because we are involved in mankind.


Dr. Stanley AronsonThere are no outward differences between starving and fasting; both seem contrary to elemental human nature and both, eventually, become life-threatening. The dissimilarities, then, are largely within the personal motivation of each and the degree to which the abstention is either voluntary or impelled by outward circumstance.


Dr. Stanley AronsonInstructing Moses in the preparation of altar incense, the Lord said: “Take fragrant spices: gum resin, aromatic shell, galbanum; add pure frankincense to the spices in equal proportions.” [Exod. 30: 34.] The Queen of Sheba is said to have brought to Solomon’s court a camel train laden with frankincense and other exotic spices. Nehemiah speaks of frankincense as a substance so precious that it was stored in the inner recesses of thet temple in Jerusalem.

Isaiah talks of camel caravans from Sheba bearing gold and frankincense. And later when his chosen people practiced abominations, the Lord declares: “What need have I for frankincense that comes from Sheba?” [Jer. 6: 20.] Matthew describes the three wise men from the east, the magi, who traveled to the manger in Bethlehem bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Dr. Stanley AronsonJoan Rivers tells her audiences that a Jewish mother doesn’t consider her child to have reached maturity until he or she receives the M.D. degree. The claim is either a gross exaggeration or, at the least, a modest stretching of the truth. Back in the 1930s, in the midst of a  world gone awry, Jewish mothers would pray that Roosevelt would be reelected, that Hitler would die of cancer and that their oldest child would be accepted to medical school.